Divinity Roxx, originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and bassist/musical director for Beyonce from 2006 to 2011, released in April of this year her latest solo artistic statement, the alternative soul/pop epic ImPossible (pronounced “I’m Possible”).
The 12 tracks on the album feature a gamut of melodies and styles, making it an exploration of different auditory contexts within which Divinity Roxx could express deep ideas and profound concepts. The tracks have been placed on the full-length in such a way that experiencing them sequentially is quite worthwhile, but ultimately not absolutely necessary, except perhaps for the opening number.
Titled “Miracle”, it opens up with the sound of someone leaving a voicemail over a mellow, soulful jazz melody played on a keyboard. The voicemail comes off as an explanatory monologue to the experience awaiting listeners. It is an introduction of sorts to Divinity Roxx’s raison d’être, letting listeners know immediately who she is and what she is about. It’s a very smart move; those of us eager for more meaningful music immediately know that this album is not going to be a watered down series of tracks on topics meant to sell. Rather, it uses music as a way to expand consciousness.
“Break Down These Walls” features some really tight rapping. Something about the melody brings to mind Coldplay’s “Clocks”. It’s a serious one, something of a march of sorts featuring strings, a keyboard, piano, and drums. It sounds a lot like a determined march towards something; in a movie, this would be the main character’s “rallying cry.”
Another such purely inspirational number is “We Are”, also featuring extremely tight rapping, albeit even faster than in “Break Down These Walls”. What makes it particularly so is the anthemic chorus. “Hey You” challenges listeners to see the problems that racism causes in the United States and to take a stand against it. “Just When You Think” features a children’s choir; what makes it interesting is how this choir is used. Usually, children’s choirs are used on mellow, anthemic tracks. This choir is used on an upbeat one that captures the listener’s ear from the get-go.
There are a lot of other fun tunes on this album—not that they don’t still remain just as deep and profound as the more serious ones. “Can It B So Hard” is led by a guitar that at times displays something of a Caribbean flavour. “Stinger (So Real)” has a pop feel to it, making it the only track on ImPossible I could imagine easily being featured on a mainstream Top 40 radio station.
“Question” is a soulful jazz number that’ll make listeners’ heads bob, a perfect summer track to play while driving one’s car down the street with the windows all the way down. The Latin feel in the uptempo and dynamic “I Like It (Featuring Yani Marin)”, which also features the fastest rapping of the entire set, makes of it one of the most memorable and fun contributions to the album.
ImPossible makes for a great listen, inspiring both because of the quality of the music as well as the depth with which concepts are explored. Stream it on SoundCloud. More information is available on her official website as well as on her Facebook page.
Pictures provided by Independent Music Promotions.